What We Like
Kills ants before they enter the home
What We Don't Like
Tricky to open without spilling
Stakes can be difficult to use
Ants can be a relentless intruder. This is certainly true in our kitchen, where no matter how clean we keep our counters, the stubborn, plucky insects just keep coming back. And of course, when you see one, there are likely hundreds or thousands more.
While we definitely needed to get rid of the ones inside our home, we also knew that the only way to effectively keep infestations at bay is to attack the problem at its source. So, we turned to TERRO Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits to target the ant colonies outside our Portland, Oregon, home. Using the built-in stakes, we secured the pre-filled bait stations and let the ant killers do their work. Read on for the results.
Performance: Efficient ant eradication system
The active ingredient in this product is sodium tetraborate decahydrate, also known as borax, a popular cleaning agent that is also sometimes used as an insecticide. It works by enticing the worker ants with bait, which they then transport back to the colony and share with fellow ants, including the queen. Slow-acting poison allows ample time for ants to distribute the bait before its deadly powers kick in, killing off the creatures within 24 hours.
We found that the baits delivered on their promise. After installing the baits around the outside of our home, we went back to check a few hours later and could already see increased ant activity (a good sign). At the same time, we installed indoor ant traps (specifically TERRO Liquid Ant Baits) in our kitchen, where we frequently spot these intrepid insects any time a few crumbs are left on the counter.
We noticed a significant absence of ants, even if the counter wasn’t spotless.
In the past, we have just used the indoor traps, which work well in the short term but don’t provide long-lasting ant relief. However, when used in combination with the TERRO Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits, we noticed a significant absence of ants, even if the counter wasn’t spotless.
While its primary purpose is for in-ground use, a nice benefit of this product is that it can also be used on decks and in garages and basements. This bait liquid is also designed to kill all of the most common types of household ants, so multiple species can be combated with the same product.
Like all ant killers, these baits should be kept away from children and pets. To alleviate the very small risk of contamination from the bait liquid spilling on the ground, you should also avoid placing this product near edible gardens.
Design: Keeps out the rain
This product is intended for outdoor use, and it was clearly designed with that in mind. The plastic stations are compact, and their green and white color helps them blend into grass or groundcover; we liked that they didn’t draw undue attention. A roof of sorts covers the liquid bait; we found that the stations remained well-protected during rainfall.
Ants come and go from the sides of the device, which we opened at the time of installation by turning the top of the bait.
Setup Process: Difficult to open without spilling
We started by placing the TERRO Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits in ant-friendly areas around the perimeter of our home, ideally adjacent to any visible ant trails or ant nests. Each box includes six baits, all of which we used at once due to the size of our home, as directed, to maximize effectiveness.
Once we selected our spots, we removed the stakes, which are housed under the bait container, and set them aside for later. We followed the instructions, pressing down on the top of the cup and turning 90 degrees to break the seal on the bait liquid. This action opens up the stations, giving ants easy access to the bait.
The process sounds simple, but we found that it was actually pretty challenging to open the stations without spilling some of the liquid. Pressing down too far makes the cup difficult to turn, which can cause a gooey mess to spill out onto the sides of the station—and your fingers.
The setup process sounds simple, but we found that it was actually pretty challenging to open the ant baits without spilling some of the poison.
However, simply being aware that this can happen is enough to make opening the device much easier. We tried a few more times, making sure our hands were steady and everything was level. By the third try, we didn’t spill a drop, but it does take quite a bit of concentration.
Finally, we secured the stations placed on dirt or mulch by pushing the provided stakes through holes in the base. We did find that the earth must be soft enough to pierce; otherwise, you again risk the bait liquid dripping out of its container as a result of the force needed to insert the stake. In a few places, we abandoned the stakes altogether and simply set the bait directly on the ground. Even unsecured, they stayed in the same place for weeks.
Another issue with the stakes is that at times, they don’t seem to fit quite right; this is because they were originally attached to each other with a bit of plastic, which we twisted to separate. A bit of the plastic tends to stay on one of the stakes, making it harder to insert into the hole on the base.
Price: Stacks up to the competition
This product retails for around $9 for six baits, or about $1.50 each. This is similar to other outdoor liquid ant bait products, which tend to range between $1 to $2 apiece.
TERRO Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits vs. Hot Shot Ultra Liquid Ant Bait
The TERRO product is generally more economical than the Hot Shot baits. Consumers get six baits for around $9, compared to four baits for almost $7, which make the TERRO baits about a quarter cheaper per bait. The white and green plastic TERRO design also seems sturdier than the clear plastic Hot Shot ones. However, the Hot Shot baits do offer the benefit of letting users easily see if ants are inside, as well as how much bait has been eaten. Another plus is that they are suitable for indoor use as well.
Interested in reading more reviews? See our guide to the best bug zappers.
Yes, buy it.
The small drawback of TERRO Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits is that care must be taken to open and install the baits outside the home without making a mess and wasting the bait liquid. However, this product is an effective ant killer and is worth the extra effort needed to avoid spills during setup.
- Product Name Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits
- Product Brand TERRO
- Price $8.99
- Active Ingredient Sodium tetraborate decahydrate (5.4%)
- What’s Included Six 1-ounce baits
- Model Number T1806-6